Keeping employees from quitting their jobs after only a month or two is becoming a bigger challenge for many businesses across the county. As one executive at an auto components manufacturer recently told us, “We hire young employees and then we can’t get them to stay around for more than a month or two, even if we offer them a bonus they have to wait three months to get. They get a little more money at other companies, and they are gone. This problem affects not only employees we expect to employ permanently, but summer employees and even interns.”
Many articles have appeared recently that place the responsibility for retaining employees squarely on the shoulders of employers. One article, “The New Reality of Employee Loyalty” that Peter K. Murdock wrote for Forbes, suggests that in order to keep employees, companies should discuss their career futures with them during job reviews and should have three-year development plans in place. “If you can’t see where your employee will be in three years within your organization, assume they will be working for someone else,” Murdock writes. And he is probably right.
The Opportunities of Demonstrating Loyalty
It is true that in order to improve retention, companies should do more to make sure that good employees stay around. But the following is also true . . .
If you counsel students to demonstrate loyalty when they are working jobs and internships, you are equipping them with one of the most sought-after traits that employers are looking for today.
While tech skills are important for them to have, students who demonstrate loyalty and longevity are likely to be valued long-term by the companies where they are working their internships and first jobs. And loyalty is something students can demonstrate in simple ways. They can, for example:
- Tell their supervisors that they are enjoying their jobs, and that they would like to either return after graduation or continue working while they are in school. Supervisors might not realize that is true unless employees tell them.
- Take pains to be reliable, diligent, and eager to learn.
- Follow up with their supervisors after they have returned to their schooling. Thank-you notes and emails can go a long way toward keeping a student “top of mind” for previous supervisors and help win job offers after graduation.
Telling students to be loyal might seem like an overly obvious thing to do. But unless you tell students that it is a value-adding skill, they might not know. Counseling is about more than building skills, it is about cultivating attitudes and outlooks too.
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